Connie said, “Damn!”

My sister Connie is seventeen months older than Marilyn.  She was protective of Marilyn from the start, always giving over to “the baby,”. She wasn’t encouraged to do it, that’s just how she was.  Mother awas careful not make a difference or favor Marilyn.  In fact, she was felt bad at seeing Connie knocked out of the baby spot, so bent over backwards trying to be fair.

Marilyn had no problem asserting herself. Since Connie didn’t want Marilyn to get in trouble, she rarely hit Marilyn back or tattled on her.  I infer this worked well for Marilyn..  As country children often do, one day Connie didn’t want to take time to go in and wee wee.  She simply darted behind a tree to do the job.  Finding an abandoned hubcap that served as a dog-feeding dish, she squatted and filled it.  As she stood, Marilyn slipped up behind her and kicked it, splashing Connie liberally.  Instead of smacking Marilyn like a normal kid would have, Connie just exclaimed, “Damn!”  Marilyn was off like a shot, looking for Mother,  Connie ,right behind her as soon as she got her wet clothes pulled up.

””Mama, Mama!  Connie said “Damn!”  This was big trouble.  Mother wouldn’t tolerate trashytalk.

Mother whirled around, shocked, expecting Connie to deny the evil deed.  “Connie, did you say, “Damn?”

”Yes.” Connie whimpered.  Had she told Mother what Marilyn had done, they would both have been swatted.

”Get me the fly swat.”  Mother kept a plastic fly swat hanging by the back door ready for just such a occasion.  She gave Connie two or three quick swats and dismissed her, while Marilyn stood by self-righteously.  It was years before Connie told the whole story.

I wonder if the dogs thought “Damn” later that day when they smelled pee in their dish.

My family:  I am in the back row Left, holding Connie’s hands,  Billy Center, Phyllis  holding Marilyn Right.

I Loved Lucy


When I met Lucy, it was love at first site.  Not romantic love, true friend love.  Lucy’s hands were covered in warts.  Everybody knew you got warts from playing with frogs.  I played with frogs every chance I got, but so far had not been able to acquire the warts proving how tough I was. 

Naturally, I had to ask about it. “How’d you git them warts?”  I always took the subtle approach.

“How do you think?  From playin’ with frogs, Dummy.  Frogs’ backs is covered with warts.”  She climbed exponentially in my opinion, a girl who liked frogs and wasn’t afraid to say “pee” without looking around to make sure her mama couldn’t hear.  I had a hard life.  My own mother made us say “wee wee” and swore she’d know if we EVER said “pee.”  “Pee” was vulgar.  I’d had my behind paddled more than once for getting caught saying it.

“Have you got any frogs now?  I want to see them warts.” I had to know. 

“Sure.  There’s always some at the creek.”  She took off and I followed.  There were indeed plenty of frogs at the creek.  We caught a couple and examined them their backs splendidly populated with warts.

We had a wonderfufrogl time with those frogs.  I loved the feel of those scratchy warts on my fingers and lips.  Alas, long before I’d had my fill of warty frog love, Mother called out saying it was time to go, but not before I slipped a couple of frogs in my pocket.

“Oh no!  I gotta go, already.” I whined.

“That’s okay.  Next time you come back, we’ll git you a snake.” She promised.

I got the snake, but never did get my warts.

When You Gotta Go…



This is was not their picnic, but you get the idea.  No bathroom in sight.

Mother has always been pretty ditzy.  We will only suspect her mind is going if she ever becomes organized.  In the early days of their marriage, she and Daddy went on  a picnic with Aunt Mary and Uncle Willie, long before the days of nice parks with conveniences like pavilions, picnic tables and rest facilities.  They just drove down a country road till they found a quiet spot under a big shade tree and spread their quilt on the ground for a nice picnic.  Not surprisingly, after lunch, the men decided to stroll to a small grove of trees to “look around.”

Apparently, there was a lot to see, because they took their time.  Meanwhile, back at the picnic site under the lone shade tree, all that coffee and lemonade was starting to percolate through Aunt Mary.  In desperation, she realized she couldn’t wait for her chance to stroll to the trees and “look around.”  There was nothing to hide behind, so she had to rough it.

“I’m gonna have to go,” she told Mother.  “We haven’t seen a car the whole time we’ve been out here.  I’ll squat on this side of the car where the men can’t see me. You keep a watch out for traffic so I can stand up real quick if I need to.”

Anxious to be helpful, Mother assured Aunt Mary she would.  After all, by now, she had to go, too.

Aunt Mary reminded Mother, “Now watch for a car.”  She set about her business, hidden from the view of the men.

It must have been a great relief, because once she maneuvered herself into the awkward squatting position, she stayed there a while, in no hurry to get up.  Aunt Mary was a woman of generous proportions.  Meanwhile, Mother stared off to the West, forgetting traffic went both ways.

As Aunt Mary sighed with relief, a car buzzed by from the East, honking and waving. “There goes one!”  Mother offered helpfully.

Six of ’em Got Me!

imageDuring World War II, the Army had soldiers doing maneuvers in the woods near Aunt Mary and Uncle Willie’s house in Sibley.  Aunt Mary had been raving about the sex-crazed GIs running wild in the woods thereabouts, probably more to keep her girls in line than anything else.  She wouldn’t even let them go to the toilet or hang clothes on the line by themselves.  They always had to do everything three at a time.  It must have been lovely crowding three girls in a two hole toilet on a hot day.  God knows, one of them couldn’t have stood outside alone and unprotected.

At any rate, due to Aunt Mary’s unrelenting vigilance, her three terrified girls had remained chaste and unmolested by the lusty soldiers.  One hot August afternoon, Aunt Mary broke her own rule and slipped out to the toilet alone for a little personal time.  Just as she settled her generous bottom on the wooden seat, she disturbed some nose-blind red wasps building a home over the stinking quagmire of human refuse below.  The offended wasps couldn’t resist the tempting target she presented and launched a viscious attack on her tender nether portions.

Aunt Mary burst out of the toilet, shrieking in pain and shock, peeing herself while trying to run with her drawers around her ankles.  Bursting through the screen door to the back porch rubbing her wounds, with tears running down her face, she shrieked at her terrified girls, “There were six of ’em.  They got me when I went to the toilet!”

Assuming she’d been accosted by the fearsome soldiers she’d warned against so often, all thee girls ran down the road, screaming for the neighbors to come to their rescue.  Even though poor Aunt Mary was in no condition for company, very soon she had plenty!



Corwin and the Goat Pills

goat poopI think I’ve mentioned my cousin Corwin was interesting. He was still hauling his bottle around when he started school. His teacher made him leave it at home, so first thing after getting off the bus, he’d get his bottle out of the cabinet, fill it up, and enjoy it along with his after school snack. A hearty eater, he’d grab up a handful of Gravytrain Chunks out of the dog’s bowl as he headed out to play football with his big brothers. As a crawling baby, Corwin had started shoving the puppy out of his bowl and just kind of got hooked on Gravytrain. It added a interest to the game to see Corwin playing football with his baby bottle sticking out of his back pocket. One of his brothers or cousins invariably snatched his bottle and ran, passing it on to whichever kid was new to the game. The chase was on. Corwin carried a grudge to the bitter end and picked up a stick or rock and bash the bottle thief’s head in long after the game of “Keepaway” concluded. His older brothers felt this bit of info was on a “need to know” basis, so new kids had to find out the hard way.

When he was about five or six, Corwin decided it was funny to pee the space heater. He’d fall all over himself to beat his mama in the front door, drop his pants, and spray the open flame with a stinking deluge that spattered, steamed, and spewed up the whole house. As he sprayed from side to side, kids would be scattering to avoid the stream. Should he have any ammo left, bystanders got it. His mother made a token protest, followed by, “I don’t know what makes that boy act like that.” Daddy told my aunt he’d hooked an electric shock to the heater, so Corwin would be electrocuted. She believed Daddy, so made Corwin give it up. I know it wasn’t true, but it would have been a fine idea.

Corwin was horrible. We all hated him. To make a long story short, Corwin was so darned mean, nobody would have stuck up for him. About that time, Daddy brought in some goats. At any rate, when Corwin saw goat pills littering the yard, he thought, they were chocolate M&Ms and gobbled quite a few before he noticed the taste was off. My brother and I made sure he had all he wanted. Seemed like justice.

Pass the Pees, Please

imageYou haven’t lived till you’re way out in the country and realize nature is calling miles from the nearest bathroom.  Mother was walking with her elderly Aunt Mary when they understood they were in just such a predicament.  They were about a half-mile from from Continue reading

Mind Your Pees!

Kid peeingMother keeps a five-gallon thermos of ice water and a stack of plastic cups on her back steps for passersby in her neighborhood. She leaves a container for used cups so she can wash and reuse. Dozens of people stop by for water, every day,  mainly children. One day, a lone six-year-old stopped by, got a drink, turned his back to the street, peed in his Continue reading

Easter with Mixed Nuts

EggEaster egg hunts with my cousins were a lot more like cage boxing than gentle competitions.  I had more than forty first cousins, mostly wild animals. By the time my aunts and uncles herded them to the scene of the crime, they just opened the car doors and all Hell broke loose.  Exhausted from defending themselves and the babies on the ride over, it was every man for himself.  God help anybody in the way. Continue reading